I have made the point a number of times for …

Comment on Opposition leader will not be questioned on looming NT poll by Alex Nelson.

I have made the point a number of times for well over a decade, principally through Alice Springs News, in making two key observations about patterns in Territory politics.
One is that governments that win massive majorities in elections suffer serious electoral backlashes in subsequent polls.
This trend is strengthening over time; for example, in August 1997 the CLP won 18 seats and its greatest ever total vote across the Territory but it lost office for the first time in August 2001.
Similarly, Labor won 19 seats in June 2005 but was reduced to a minority government in August 2008.
There’s no reason to believe the Gunner Government, with its initial 18 seats (now 16) will not suffer a similar fate in a year’s time.
The second pattern is that political parties whose leaders represent electorates outside of Darwin always lose elections.
This pattern began as long ago as 1965 when the Member for Alice Springs, Colonel Lionel Rose, became the leader of the North Australia Party – he lost his seat by a narrow margin to Labor candidate Charlie “Chas” Orr, and the NAP was obliterated to a single winning member (Tony Greatorex, Member for Stuart).
History went full circle when Chief Minister Adam Giles, the Member for Braitling, narrowly lost his seat in 2016 to Labor’s Dale Wakefield, and the CLP was reduced to its worst ever result of just two seats.
The current leader, Gary Higgins, represents a rural seat and – consistent with the existing pattern – it’s highly unlikely in my view that he will succeed in leading the CLP to victory next year.
As noted in another report, there’s a high level of disengagement of electors in the political process, and with democracy itself, in the Northern Territory.
We live in interesting times.

Recent Comments by Alex Nelson

Australian flag stolen from Anzac Hill
Not for the first time – https://www.alicespringsnews.com.au/2018/03/25/in-a-flap-over-flags-a-possible-compromise/


Gunner demands council deal with Mayor’s ‘conflict of interest’
Damien Ryan is the third mayor of Alice Springs to stand as a candidate for a Territory election campaign, the two previous being Leslie Oldfield in 1990 and Fran Kilgariff in 2005.
Leslie Oldfield stood as an independent candidate for the seat of Braitling, against sitting CLP member Roger Vale – an interesting contrast to the current situation of CLP candidate Damien Ryan contesting Araluen against sitting independent member Robyn Lambley.
Lambley is a former CLP member, while Oldfield had once been Roger Vale’s electorate officer!
Fran Kilgariff stood as a Labor candidate for the seat of Greatorex, held by the CLP’s Dr Richard Lim.
The NT Government in 2005 was also Labor, under CM Clare Martin, predecessor as Member for Fannie Bay of current CM Michael Gunner.
Apparently NT Labor didn’t have a problem back in 2005 with the mayor of Alice Springs running as a Labor candidate; and it’s rather disingenuous of Labor now to argue differently about Damien Ryan standing for the CLP.
In 2005 I had a series of articles published in the Alice Springs News commenting about NT politics, in one of which I pointed out that no mayor in the NT who had run as a candidate for the NT Legislative Assembly had been successful; and I was virtually alone in my assertion that Fran Kilgariff would equally prove unsuccessful.
That situation still stands and, frankly, I think will remain the case after the NT elections later this year.


Trashing and rebuilding: “Investing” by NT Government
It should be recalled that the Henderson Labor Government had no problem repurposing the old high school, after Anzac Hill High School was closed at the end of 2009, as the Youth Hub which was a major part of its program for dealing with children and teenagers on the streets at night.
There was much protestation from Labor when the CLP shut down the Youth Hub after it won government in 2012.
The vacant site of the former high school is mute testimony to the bungling incompetence that has become the hallmark of the Gunner Labor Government.
The fate of that old school is the same that lies in wait for Labor in this year’s NT election campaign, for it is a government that truly deserves to be completely expunged from holding office.


Why not us?
And now it’s 20% chance tomorrow (Tuesday) rising to 70% chance on Thursday (with “possible storm, heavy falls” according to the BOM) declining to 40% chance by Sunday.
I’m making preparations, accordingly.


Party full throttle in battle against fracking
It’s time to end our reliance on the notion of political parties.
What we need in our parliaments and assemblies are elected individuals of integrity and competence, who can negotiate and cooperate with one another to provide the best standard of governance for all.
The evidence built up over many years demonstrates that political parties cannot be relied upon for the provision of good government.
They may start off well intentioned but inevitably end up being captured by powerful vested interests that equate their own aims to the public good.
I think it’s well overdue that another approach towards government and administration is given serious consideration.


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